While I would concur that the Designer should not be held responsible for
defining the roles of a General Contractor's subs. The General Contractor
relies heavily upon the divisions of trade in the project specifications for
'defining' what is and is not a part of a subcontractors bid. For those
who have never experienced a 'Bid Day' on public works construction, it is
nothing short of a controlled explosion. The project estimator will have
to review hundreds of bids in just a few hours, assess the completeness of
each bid and determine who is low bidder in each sub-trade. IMO, what the
article is trying to convey is that the scope of work in each section needs
to be clearly identified. And that the FOB portions of the structural and
misc. steel should NOT appear to be a part of the scope of the Concrete or
Rough Carpentry, even though the concrete/framing sub is typically
required to provide the labor for installation of these structural/misc
Robert Shaffer, PE
Santa Cruz, CA
----- Original Message -----
From: Charles Greenlaw <cgreenlaw(--nospam--at)speedlink.com>
Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2000 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Economy in Steel - Comments
> At 03:20 PM 02/05/2000 -0500, Mark Gilligan wrote:
> >In a recent posting Charles Carter pointed us to an article titled
> >in Steel - A Practical guide" which can be found at
> >In this article it is recommended that the structural engineer:
> >"Clearly define responsibilities for non-structural and miscellaneous
> >items. ...
> > Avoid the inclusion of such items in two bids
> >by clearly defining who is to provide them."
> >This recommendation which is commonly made by the steel industry is at
> >with the common project General Conditions and exposes the Owner and the
> >Engineer to significant potential liability. The problem is that the
> >Construction Documents should NEVER attempt to tell the General
> >that certain work is the responsibility of a specific sub-contractor.
> I agree with two of the ideas above:
> It makes sense to me that defining which subcontractors provide what
> categories of steel items, among other construction components in a
> is an excellent idea.
> Mark Gilligan however makes very sound points that the structural engineer
> is the wrong party to be defining roles among the contractors. The same is
> true for any design professional. Designers design, and builders build,
> including management of construction personnel and processes.
> The solution is for each general contractor who is bidding the job to
> responsibilities among the subcontractors according to his own
> and understandings with them, and to make such assignments definite and
> unambiguous. The manner in which this would be carried out is a matter for
> the contracting industry to resolve according to its own needs.
> The most that the contract documents might undertake is to require
> submission by each bidding contractor of a report of his subcontractor's
> roles, somewhat akin to submitting shop drawings. But I would hope this
> would be seen as a disrespectful hand-holding attempt and as an incursion
> into what is none of the design professional's business.
> Charles O. Greenlaw SE Sacramento CA